My wife and I have finished our bicycle tour of the west coast of the USA as mentioned previously. I apologize for not blogging en route, as I’d planned. I’m writing this while riding the Amtrak back home to Vancouver. I had reservations about lugging my dSLR on the bike before i’d started the trip, worried the weight may not be worth carrying. I fretted that I’d miss an artistic “money shot” without the dSLR. If I got one or two shots worth putting on our wall, I figured the weight would be worth it. Well, I took it anyway. The heavy gear saw limited opportunity for use and when it did get used there was no “money shot” captured in the end.
We found ourselves very busy during peddle days, which was most days. I’m guessing we spent 6-8 hours a day on the road. When we camped, our days were extra long because of setting up/breaking down camp and cooking meals. The motel nights were easier having less to unpack with the added bonus of wifi, although most signals were weak. Meeting and socializing with so many people along our route also ate into my photography time. I was having so much fun enjoying the moment, I didn’t feel like breaking out the camera.
- Ditch the dSLR on a bike. Use a smaller camera such as a Fuji x-pro. I don’t know a heck of a lot about this class of camera but I understand that the technology is getting really good. They have full manual control and good file quality.
- Use a small handle bar bag instead of a pannier for camera. When the camera is buried deep in a pannier, you tend to leave it there. Having a camera easily accessible will get you shooting more. I tended to use my iPhone that had a home in the back pocket of my cycling jersey. A micro 4/3 camera could have lived there as well, while having more features and better file quality.
- Create little stickers containing your contact information. Most long term cycle tourists we’d met used them. They basically had a mailing label sticker with their email and blog addresses on them. They’re lightweight compared to traditional business card and, unlike business cards, you can stick them in the back of your journal or even on your bike! As you collect them, they won’t get lost or add up in weight.
- Take more pictures of the people you meet. They tend to be the highlight your cycle trip.
Anyway, I wouldn’t call this trip successful photographically, but it certainly was in other ways. We met many other cycle tourers including some who were on very long trips, including cycling around the world. We were also greeted with huge hospitality from the Americans. I was in awe at the amount of super friendly people we met. I would do it again in a heartbeat, even without a camera. We saw and experienced so much more than expected.
Finally, I have a special surprise in the next week or so. I have a wonderful guest writer who has agreed to blog a post here. I am tickled about it and you will surely enjoy the read. Stay tuned!